Saturday, May 26, 2007

Graduation Day

I barely remember my own high school graduation. I barely remember high school - period. This is partially because it was a long time ago and, frankly, not much memorable happened. I think that the high school experience that kids have now is much different than that of nearly 30 years ago. I know, that sounds ridiculous. Of course it is different. Kids, however, are really not that different. Society is different. Today's kids still have friends, still want their own cars (except for mine who has no desire at all to drive), they still like to have fun, and they still have dreams. Graduation is about those dreams.

As I looked down into the sea of red caps and gowns tonight, I thought about all those graduating for whom this very moment was their biggest dream come true. For some it was beating the impossible that allowed them to reach this moment. For some, they are the first in their family to graduate from high school. And for others, this is only the beginning. Wherever each of these graduates found themselves, this night was about them. Though their were nearly 500 seniors in this class, when their name was called and they received that diploma, they were the only one that mattered. It was their brief moment.

In this crowd, every parent, grandparent, sibling and friend could find the one person that they came to see participate in this milestone.
Brooke graduated as salutatorian. However, no speech was required because her class had co-valedictorians. She only had to read the names of the honored teachers. She is not afraid to speak in public, but sharing her thoughts is a different story. No speech was a dream come true for her. Because the whole thing was rather low stress, today, before the 5 pm commencement exercises was rather low key at our house.


9:00 am Rise slowly
10:00 Do New York Times Crossword puzzle with grandfather
10:30 Read cookbooks
11:30 Play Marvel Ultimate Alliance
1:30 Watch a movie with a little senseless violence
2:15 Begin to think about getting dressed
2:30 Think about getting dressed
2:45 Begin to get dressed
3:30 Panic because she can not find her National Honor Society stole (because she left it in the car instead of bringing it in and putting it with the rest of her regalia)
3:35 Leave the house
4:00 Graduates meet to line up (hoping they remember who was in front of them and who was behind them at rehearsal and that neither of these people failed an exam yesterday)
5:00 Graduation
6:15 We are out of there
6:30 Time for a little food at our favorite local diner
7:30 Change clothes and get to the theatre just in time for the curtain. (fortunately neither of us has any responsibilities before the end of act I)
10:00 Leave the theatre for a large cup of Jupiter Nectar ( a drink from a local coffee shop that consists of more than the legal limit of both sugar and caffeine. Brooke needed this to keep her awake all night at Grad Night)
11:30 Leave school for Grad Night, an all-night celebration at Dave and Buster's. This is a good deal. The kids are bused on school buses, lest they not forget too quickly, and bused back to school at 6am. They can't leave and they are well supervised. Parents don't have to worry about the wrong kind of graduation party.

All and all, this was a pretty good day. Even the part about Brooke and her shoes. There was much concern amongst the faculty about what Brooke would wear for graduation, especially on her feet. For four years she has worn nothing but black, jeans, and tennis shoes. Jeans and tennis shoes were not permitted at graduation. I convinced her yesterday to go shopping for something to wear. She agreed, but only if it could be accomplished in a half hour or less. We were successful. Then the question of shoes. She did not want to shop for foot coverings. "I'll just wear some of Erin's shoes." To which I reminded her that Erin has a wide foot and she wears a AA. Brooke didn't care. She said that she would not have the shoes on that long.

Notice the shoes in this picture.

Even more shocking is the dress. She looks great in dresses but she does not feel great in them so I don't force them very often. She seemed pretty happy with this one. She still, however, does not like pictures so her sister had to drag her in front of the camera.
They clean up pretty nice, huh?

As soon as she could after graduation, Brooke shed the shoes. Black Adidas were a fine second choice with the dress. Brooke was then back to herself when she dressed for the show. Fortunately, her character dresses just like she does (no costuming required here).

Brooke as a reporter in the Laramie Project. (I'll save the picture of her as an angel for later!)

More dreams begin today. Even though I am way past high school, I still dream with that child-like naivete sometimes. I hope I never lose that.

Dream on everyone!